"Morality for Beautiful Girls" is the third novel in Alexander McCall Smith's series, The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency. This is the first of the series that I read from start to finish while living in Gaborone, Botswana - the same place where the novel is set. It was thrilling to recognise the places described and the cultural quips discussed.
As I have said before in my reviews of the first two novels, the writing within these books is nothing to be in awe of. Both the language and sentence structure is overly simplistic and somewhat dull. The main character, however, Mma Ramotswe is very well developed in such a way that readers can do nothing less than fall in love with her. "Morality for Beautiful Girls" focuses more on the personal life of Mma Ramotswe bringing in such plot components as her fiance as he struggles with a case of depression and two orphan children that become a part of her family. Of course, there is still the detective component of the novel which this time around finds the main character investigating a case of potential poisoning in the home of government official.
Interestingly enough, the other major case involved in this novel requires Mma Makutsi to take on her first real case. She is hired to investigate the four finalists of the Miss Beauty and Integrity contest to see which beautiful girl possesses the best morality and therefore deserves to win. I have described it as interesting because the winner of the contest in the novel moves on to contend in the Miss Botswana Pageant. The 2011 Miss Botswana Pageant occurred here in Gaborone on July 1st. While I did not attend, everyone residing in this city was a buzz with the excitement of the pageant. Interesting connection, no?!